The Winnipeg Renaissance: How effective social media?is driving culture & business

If ‘man is the measure of all things’, then ‘the people are the measure of all things in Winnipeg’, and the Peg is beaming with great people doing incredible things.

It’s no secret that Winnipeg has turned a corner from down-and-out fly-over city to must-experience, culture-hub on many travelers’?wish lists. Part reinvention and part rebirth, the Keystone province’s capital city has most certainly renewed the creative spirits of Peggers, old and new. With boutiques, coffee shops, cocktail bars, arts, music, festivals and much more, the Peg has been stepping up its game in a big way.

However, this post isn’t a love-in for all the hipsters to tweet about, haters to hate about, or scenesters to… scene about. Instead, it’s an observation on the tools, technologies, and methodologies which have helped spark this Renaissance. Just as the invention of movable type began spreading ideas during the second half of the 15th century (and well beyond), a new form of communication has helped spread the word of local arts, music, cuisine, entertainment, fashion and more in today’s day and age. And just as Gutenberg’s printing press brought technology which had a profound impact on all areas of life for centuries to follow, so to have new technologies had a major impact on modern life. Digital marketing, specifically social media, has democratized the ability for Winnipeg’s independent business community to reach large groups of people with more connectedness than ever before.

But having a soap-box isn’t enough. Just because you have a megaphone doesn’t necessarily mean people will listen to what you have to say. The smart local entrepreneurs, the ones who are doing social right (see Albert St. Cocktail, King+Bannatyne, Bronuts, to name a few) are following best practices; consistent tone-of-voice and visual-style, mixed with user-generated content, customer-engagement, and tasteful promotion. While start-ups may yet to have budgets that support mixing traditional media with their digital efforts, they can look to other local brands such as St. Vital Centre for inspiration through their effective use of outdoor, radio, and print advertising in cross-promoting their marketing strategy.

When integrated correctly, digital and traditional marketing can be cost-effective, interactive, and memorable in a way that doesn’t focus on interrupting people, but rather on engaging with them. As a full-service ad agency with nearly three decades of experience, Fusion has seen the arrival and passing of many trends (can you Xerox that for me?), technologies (remember pagers?), and fads (QR codes, just don’t.) – and through it all we have helped our clients be successful by approaching each business challenge with sound strategy, smart tactics, and compelling creative.